Scenes from Ephesus

April 14, 2010

As you continue further on Curetes Street, across from the Domitian Square, you see the Memmius Monument. This four sided victory arch was erected by Gaius Memmius, son of Caius and grandson of Sulla, as a memorial of Sulla’s military victory over Mithridates. Mithridates, king of Pontus, had 90,000 troops, while Sulla’s forces numbered only 30,000. The Battle of Chaeronea (in Greece) took place in 86 B.C.  We include this info not because it is directly related to the Bible, but to remind us that numerous struggles and upheavals were occurring as God was working out the unfolding of His plan, as the “fullness of time” for Jesus to come was approaching (Gal. 4:4).

Memmius Monument. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Another structure of interest is the Trajan Fountain, dedicated to the emperor Trajan (reigned A.D. 98-117).  The fountain was built  A.D. 102-104. For what it’s worth, Michael Grant writes, “Trajan was a tall and well-built man, with an air of serious dignity enhanced by early greyness” (The Roman Emperors, p.75).

Trajan Fountain. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

One more Ephesus photo for today is the Hadrian Temple. Emperor Hadrian reigned A.D. 117-138.

Hadrian Temple. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

The “Second Revolt” (A.D. 132) of the Jews took place during Hadrian’s reign.  Michael Grant observes,

For Hadrian, whose cosmopolitan outlook was unsympathetic to Jewish separatism, had established a Roman colony and temple in Jerusalem, now renamed Aelia Capitolina after his own Aelian family; and this foundation caused great anger among the Jews, who in 132 broke into open insurrection under an inspiring leader, Simeon Bar Kosiba (nicknamed Bar Kochba, ‘son of a star’).  The rebels took Jerusalem and issued their own coinage, and it took three years to overcome their uprising.  During this period the emperor visited Judaea, once if not twice, and he is likely to have been present when Jerusalem finally fell in 134.  The surviving militants were rounded up at Bethar the following year, and severe measures of reprisal included a total prohibition of circumcision. (ibid.79).

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